Men Like Women Who Wear Less Make Up

Yesterday I woke up and did what I always do: I checked twitter. Commuter woes, politics, bad puns, cat photos… the usual. Then I saw that someone had retweeted this utter load of piffle into my timeline:

Men Like Women Who Wear Less Make Up

So, without even thinking, I reacted:

Men Like Women Who Wear Less Make Up

‘Men Like Women Who Wear Less Make Up’

I didn’t really think anything of the tweet, as people often don’t on social media. You post something forgetting that your words can spread. One of the main things I love about twitter as that it’s so quick and easy to find your tribe and this was definitely true of this tweet: so many women shared it, replied, and followed me.

But as with anything that gets shared online, it reaches people outside of your tribe, outside of the safe little bubble of like-minded people you collate online. And those people were very angry. They wanted me to know their views on make up and the women who wear it. Apparently men prefer the natural look (do you hear that, all men? Your self-appointed spokesmen have had the final word and have decreed how you ALL feel about make up. Sorry about that). Apparently men think women who wear make up are vain. Apparently men think women who wear make up can’t be feminists. Apparently men think beauty bloggers can’t be feminists because we’re all just vacuous bimbos with no intelligence or minds of our own. Apparently men like women who wear less make up.

Excuse me while I eye-roll forever.

As women we know this is bullshit. And a lot of men know that this is bullshit as well. But this is a pervasive and damaging undercurrent in the way that society looks at women. They want us natural.  But hairless, sweat-patch-free, blemish-free, cellulite-free and muffin-top-free…because that’s a bit too natural, isn’t it? They want natural but they don’t know what that means. The amount of times I’ve seen a photo of some celebrity being lauded for being so brave to go make-up free… when anyone with eyes can see she’s wearing tinted moisturiser, subtle eyeliner, her-lips-but-better lipstick, has had eyelash extensions, her lashes and brows tinted, botox, hair removal… the list goes on. Natural is not quite as impressive and easy to achieve as these men seem to think it is.

Here we go, let’s do a quick experiment. On the left is my natural face, straight out of the shower with the worst rosacea flare up I’ve ever had. On the right is me feeling happy and confident and like myself, wearing a shit load of make up. Which is more attractive, anonymous men of the internet? This is a trick question by the way. Can you guess why?

'Men prefer women who wear make up'...My thoughts on make up, why I wear it, and why I don't care if you approve. #talontedlex #skinpositivity #rosacea #makeup

The answer is – I DO NOT CARE because your opinion means nothing to me. What does matter to me is how *I* feel. How I feel about myself when I look in the mirror. How confident I feel when I walk into a room of strangers, or stand up to present to colleagues at work, or when I went on those nerve-wracking first dates with my now-husband. Your outdated and misogynistic opinions on what women should or shouldn’t do to please you could not be further from my mind when I do my make up on a morning. I don’t spend a (frankly horrendous) amount of money on products just to attract men, nor do I change how I look based on their whims.

You are entitled to your opinion, of course. But don’t present it to me like it’s bloody gospel. You can keep that opinion in your own hate-filled and, no doubt, lonely corner of the internet, thanks.




  1. 4th February 2016 / 2:24 pm

    Preach! This is succinct and to the point, and exactly how I feel about makeup. It’s not for them. It’s for me. And if it is for anyone else, it’s for other women. Who appreciate the art of makeup. It is not for men. I repeat IT IS NOT FOR MEN!

    • Marie
      5th March 2021 / 11:04 pm

      I don’t give a shit what men like.

  2. Helen
    4th February 2016 / 2:44 pm

    I want to high five you for posting your post shower photo. I have rosacea and acne scars and I find it impossible to accept that I look better without makeup. I wear loads, but it just doesn’t look like it. Men often have no idea at all what a bare face actually looks like. You speak the truth!

  3. Fi
    4th February 2016 / 3:06 pm

    So glad you wrote that Lex. What is so ironic is that proper scientifically conducted studies show that if shown the face of a woman without makeup and with make up (not being made aware it is the same woman) they invariably describe the woman with makeup as “more attractive”.
    I have worn makeup all my life and am starting to get truly pissed off with people either saying in my hearing or actually to my face “older women shouldn’t wear makeup ” (I am 55). The subtext is “who do you think is going to fancy you at your age?” That makes me nearly as mad as “women over 40 shouldn’t wear skinny jeans”. Well I f**king ROCK skinny jeans and fully intend to do so until I am too frail to pull them up!!

  4. Gemma
    4th February 2016 / 3:48 pm

    YES!!! I love this post! I can not stand that ‘men prefer women with less makeup’ crap. I couldn’t care less. I don’t do my makeup for ‘men’ I do my make up for ME …… and to get complements off of other women haha 🙂 XX

    • Lex
      4th March 2016 / 6:38 pm

      Oh it’s total bollocks isn’t it? And YES to doing your make up for women! It means so much more to me if a woman tells me I look good than if a man does – if the latter happens I just think ‘yes, I have breasts and a pulse so you are interested, great’. Whereas for a woman to go out of her way to say you look good… you’re doing something right! x

  5. 4th February 2016 / 3:49 pm

    I have rosacea too, and most days I cover up my angry skin, but sometimes I let it breathe, because it’s my face and I’ll do as I please!

    • Lex
      4th March 2016 / 6:33 pm

      As is your right. And if anyone tells you differently, you have my full backing to tell them to bugger off!

  6. Kathryn
    4th February 2016 / 4:25 pm

    I don’t wear make up because I hate the way it feels on my skin. And yet, somehow I don’t have men falling at my feet, worshipping my natural beauty. I have had men very gravely tell me things like “You’ll never find someone if you don’t fix yourself up a bit. Wear some lipstick. You should be making an effort.”

    • Lex
      4th March 2016 / 6:30 pm

      We can’t win! ‘You should embrace your natural beauty’ … ‘oh god is *that* what your face really looks like? Maybe try a bit harder, yeah?’ *massive eye roll*

  7. LondonCalling
    4th February 2016 / 11:08 pm

    I’ve only just discovered you and I think I love you! I’m working hard to like myself and the concept of pandering to what other people think of me is a massively distant thought. Best wishes to you and all you do x

    • Lex
      4th March 2016 / 6:24 pm

      I think I love you too! What a lovely comment. Learning to love my face is a constant battle and, like you say, I just don’t have time to care what others think! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment x

  8. 5th February 2016 / 6:42 am

    *applauds* Excellently said, Lex.

    • Lex
      4th March 2016 / 6:22 pm

      Thank you so much, Mrs Mouse 🙂

  9. Janet
    5th February 2016 / 9:15 am

    I get the “why do you bother” comments too – I’m 53 for f***s sake, not dead! I’ll wear as much makeup as I want, and go down looking like Bette Davis in Whatever happened to Baby Jane if I want to. My face. My choice. Well done you!

    • Lex
      4th March 2016 / 6:22 pm

      Urgh, it’s just so rude! I don’t get why people care what you do with your own face?! Bizarre. Thank you for your comment, and keep being amazing in however much make up you like!

      • Marie
        5th March 2021 / 11:17 pm


  10. 11th April 2016 / 8:46 am

    I conducted an experiment once, I went to work with virtually no make up on and spent the entire day telling people I wasn’t ill. I like wearing make up and anything that gives my pale, sensitive, grumpy skin enough colour so I look well is fine by me.

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